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Terracotta fest: Dinner sets, water bottles made of clay to help pottery survive

A group exhibition of works by 15 artists, from across India, is being organised to support traditional pottery.

art and culture Updated: Oct 07, 2017 18:47 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Artefacts made using techniques of traditional pottery, which can be used for both decorative and utility purposes, will be on display at this show.

Abdul Ibrahim Kumbhar travels 12 kilometers from his house in Bhuj (Gujarat) to the Rann of Kutch to source mud. “I look for chikni mitti. But since the mud at Rann is saline, I dig up earth, taste it to be sure that it’s fresh and usable for pottery,” says the 39-year-old potter. Kumbhar is one of the 15 potters travelling to Delhi to exhibit their works at the upcoming Terrafest 2017, organised by the Delhi Blue Pottery Trust (DBPT).

The annual group exhibition of terracotta artworks tries to provide a platform to artisans from across India. “I’ve been making functional pottery for last 20 years. If there were 100 potters in my village earlier, then there are just 10 left now. The art is diminishing, and to infuse a new life in it I try to make functional pottery,” says Kumbhar whose clay water bottles are good enough to replace plastic ones. “I want to change the perception of people by creating utility artefacts. I even make 42-piece dinner sets out of clay, which people specially order,” he adds.

An artifact on display at the show.

A Delhi-based potter, Manoj Kumar, who will also be participating in this show says, “I will exhibit lights, diyas in both plated and hanging designs, keeping in mind Diwali.”

Sudha Pillai, trustee, DBPT, says, “Terrafest seeks to protect our heritage and honour our traditional potters. Terracotta traditions from all over India will be showcased at the exhibition.”

Ravi Batra, founder-trustee, DBPT, adds, “Last year, for the first time we asked these artists to conduct workshops and the response was so good that this year both the artists and the people are looking forward to it. This show tries to promote traditional terracotta pottery, and is our effort to help the art survive.”

  • What: Terrafest 2017
  • Where: Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg
  • When: October 6 to 10
  • Timings: 11am to 7pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on Blue Line

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First Published: Oct 07, 2017 18:46 IST